11 Things To NOT Do When Selling Your Home
I make it my mission to help my clients get the most cash they can possibly get for their homes, so I’ve had a lot of experience spotting both the best and the worst of home showing behaviors.
This article is just a lighthearted way of sharing what NOT to do.
From canine-led house tours to reverse aromatherapy… These are 11 foolproof ways to tank your selling price and RUIN your chances of getting top dollar for your home.
ONE. Let your dog run the show.
Prospective buyers love to be greeted with the welcoming odor of dog urine and a colorful confetti of hair. This is especially helpful for driving off buyers with allergies. Even better, take a little trip out of town and refuse to allow any showings at all because your pup is home alone. By no means should you board Mr. Muggles while your house is listed. Instead, let him poop all over the freshly landscaped yard, and put out plenty of signs that your house belongs to Fluffy alone – toys, bowls, groomies supplies (extra hairy), fridge photos, leashes, you name it. Or best of all – host an extra-scary guard dog on the property to make it 100% clear that your home is OFF LIMITS to those pesky would-be buyers. Bonus tip: Add wasp nests at the front and back doors or even inside the fireplace!
TWO. Stay right at home during home showings.
Make sure those buyers get an awkward introduction to their would-be dream home by parking yourself in front of the tv while they tour your abode. Ask a family member to nap in one of the bedrooms for an extra surprise. Pajamas and loungewear are always in vogue. Buyers will NEVER EVER be able to picture themselves living in your house, because the image of you in your Care Bear onesie will be etched firmly into their psyches.
THREE. Price your house like the one you wish you had.
Is your house a model home? No? Not even midline? More like the unrenovated ugly duckling of the neighborhood? Well, price it like a fairy princess castle anyway. Prospective buyers will surely understand that it’s worthwhile to pay you for the house of your dreams, not the house you’re actually selling. So what if it has 12X12 vinyl tile throughout all the baths, and countertops from 1998, and comparable houses have bathrooms fully updated with granite countertops and new porcelain tile and frameless shower doors and trendy paint throughout? So what if the back door doesn’t hang quite right, or they can’t even get into the house without using their bodyweight to push open the front door? YOU know what it’s really worth. Price with your heart, not reasonable neighborhood comps.
FOUR. Start a mold garden.
Bathroom, kitchen, garage, attic crawl space, anywhere is fair game for a new mold garden! Instant reverse aromatherapy with built-in health hazards!
FIVE. Hire that DIY wannabe-photographer agent.
If you’ve got a smartphone, you’re a photographer, right? These days any realtor-at-large can shoot their own “professional” listing photos. Crappy angles, terrible lighting, strange auras and shadows… the campiness is what makes it ART. By no means should you work with an agent who has a list of pro photographers on speed dial ready to make your home dazzle online. Total overkill. Why pay someone for a skillset that only takes decades to master (and thousands of dollars of specialized equipment)?
SIX. Hire a luddite agent who can’t use scheduling tech.
You know… the good old pen-and-paper rolodex guy who has never heard of an app and thinks he can manage multiple listings with the help of his trusty rotary phone. He’s never even heard of something like Showing Time and wouldn’t have a clue why you’d want to rely on something like a scheduling service to coordinate showings. Hey – he’s cheaper.
SEVEN. Just say no to showings.
Oops, another Showing Time request came through. No worries. Just decline. That way you’ll definitely limit the pesky pool of people trying to check out your house to see if they’d like to make you an offer. You only want buyers who are polite enough to abide by your schedule – no matter how many extra days your house has to languish on the market, or how far the offer prices will decrease when buyers start to suspect your home is some kind of pariah no one wants. (For maximum damage, make sure to set stringent showing times, with 2-hour or even 24-hour notice required.)
EIGHT. Keep watch on all those strangers touring your home.
Here’s a great way to intimidate prospective buyers – and up the awkwardness level to the max: Make sure YOUR agent is always around for showings. Now the buyers can’t possibly speak freely with each other, or even with their own agent, at least not without your specially appointed spy listening to every juicy detail, and maybe interrupting now and then to make sure they know who’s boss. After all, buyers can’t possibly make their best offer when they’re being treated like suspects.
NINE. Extra-effective: Ignore offers.
If a buyer has the nerve to make you an offer, for goodness sake, don’t respond. Better yet, tell your agent how offended you are with their ‘lowball’ posturing and have them pass the message along. You wouldn’t want them to come back to you with a better offer later. That would defeat the purpose of this entire list.
TEN. Don’t hire friendly, competent people.
If low offers are the goal, make sure to hire the rudest, most condescending real estate agent you can find. Bonus if they’re also incompetent! Hit up the bargain basement for the realtor with inappropriate jokes and zero regard for appointment times. Those are the best at running high-dollar buyers right out the emergency exit.
ELEVEN. Advanced tactic: Sell the house yourself!
Aiming for the lowest of the low when it comes to selling price? Well, my friend, you’re gonna have to work for it. In other words, sell that house all by yourself! You’ll see other brave souls celebrating this winsome strategy with festive yard signs that read “For Sale By Owner.” Yes, it’s true that you get to keep that 6% you would have paid to an agent, but it will cost you about 10-11% on the selling price of your house. Mission achieved!
In all seriousness, it’s not hard to sell for top-dollar.
Yes, use your God-given sense and avoid all of the above, but more importantly, work with experts who know what they’re doing – people who will hold your hand and walk you through the do’s, the don’ts, and the absolutely-nots, no matter what home-selling adventures come your way.